Sunday, May 30, 2010

Leftovers from catching up

Life is slowly limping back to normal in the P-new mum- Nikki household. Nikki's tummy infection has finally settled down, S is back from her month long vacation and I've even managed to find part time help who actually gets some work done as opposed to skipping around the house with a broom and duster before calling it a day. I hadn't blogged about Nikki's tummy bug earlier because quite frankly it had scared the living daylights out of me. It began with a vicious attack of diarrhea and a horrible rash which made nappy changes a nightmare, and even though we managed to get these under control soon enough, the infection itself persisted for nearly a month as revealed by ongoing stool tests. As a result of this poor Nikki was on a rather restricted diet for a very long time though we are gradually resuming a regular diet now. She's still lactose intolerant though so its a continuation of soy milk disguised in fruit smoothies and soups, since its undisguised version tends to bring out the mutinous streak in Nikki. (As you can imagine, I have been subjected to way more than my share of "Kitni kamzor (how I HATE that word) hai!" comments this last month than I could possibly care for. Aaaaaargghh!)

What worries me more than the illness itself, even though I would be quite happy to never encounter it again, is the apparent ease with which it can be picked up. "Oh happens to kids all the time!" was a frequent refrain I heard from both the ped as well as the chappie at the pathology lab where we went for the stool tests. According to the ped the infection is often picked up due to teething which makes babies rather non-discriminating when shoving stuff in their little mouths or as a result of eating raw food like salads or outside food which may not have been hygienically prepared. Now I'm very careful, okay fine, ultra paranoid, when it comes to Nikki's food but there's little I can do about the stuff she puts in her mouth. She has a particular fancy for scouring the house for dirt, finding it in the most unthinkable places (the nearly invisible crevice between the grooves of the balcony sliding doors anyone?) and then sucking on her dirty little digits with joyful relish. Then there's the problem of friends and relatives who come over and like to feed her all sorts of stuff, never mind whether I approve of it or not. In the month leading up to Nikki's birthday our home was full of guests and I was going nuts between trying to maintain some semblance of control between what was going inside Nikki's mouth what with her own explorations (Ooh blob of slime! Wonder what it tastes like?) and what people were trying to sneakily feed her (this is a post for another day, I think!). Since I'm hoping that this particular tummy bug never makes an appearance again, I need to figure this one out fast. Suggestions and advice are most welcome (Read as SOS!!! Help me please!)

Sometime back I had got this award from Buzz, I'd now like to pass it on to some of my very special blog buddies; women whom I've never met but whose blogs I enjoy reading immensely and with whom I've connected on so many levels, albeit virtually. This is for you MRC, Aneela, Buzz, Divs, Mindful Meanderer, Priyanka, The Soul of Alec Smart and Momo's Ma. I had ALSO *ahem* got another award (whoop, whoop, whoop!!) from Shruti, and here it is proudly displayed!

Er, well actually I think that may be two awards so whoop, whoop, whoop once again!!!

I've also been thinking for sometime now of doing something a little different with my blogger template, you know, jazzing it up a bit. So do drop me a line if you know anybody who might be willing to take design requests or know of even any online resources that will enable even creatively and technologically challenged souls such as yours truly to get a spot of designing done, will you?

P was out of town for the day yesterday and I hadn't made any plans, so the weekend got off to a rather uneventful start. S had the day off as well so it was just Nikki and me left to our own devices. We spent the morning doing a lot of reading; I had picked up a few books for Nikki last weekend and she seems to be turning into quite the little bookworm :) Her current all time favorite is Sleep Tight Bunny, so it was demands for that all morning. In the afternoon it was a trip to the supermarket and the park followed by some water play in her baby inflatable pool (she's become a total water baby ever since P's little experiment). In the evening we went for a walk and I took her to a new park near our house where there's a massive sandpit. It was Nikki's first time in the sand, barring the Goa trip where she'd been too little to play properly in it. At first she ventured in very gingerly, looking quite disgusted at this grainy stuff that was sticking and slipping from her fingers all at once and brushing her hands on her clothes or dusting them off every now and then, but soon she got quite comfortable and was scooting around flinging sand here and there and destroying the sand castles I was trying to build for her. She ended up having so much fun she didn't want to leave but she got tired soon after having hardly slept during the day, so it was home for a relaxing bath, dinner and then bedtime.
I found myself at a loose end once Nikks was alseep so I popped some Wild Honey, from this album, into the music system and cooked a dinner of Sanjeev Kapoor's chicken meat loaf and a rocket and lettuce salad for dinner for P & I. The cable guy was beaming Housefull, and I remembered reading good reviews in the papers so we decided to check it out over dinner. Now I am not the most discerning of critics anymore as movies go; the long hiatus from movie watching that early mommyhood got with it as well as the supreme levels of patience I have developed post Nikki, normally ensure that I enjoy pretty much everything that I watch these days. I even LIKED Dostana for example, so that gives you a pretty good picture doesn't it? But even I had to draw the line at this Housefull trash, I mean really, what were they thinking?! I'm going to need all of today to recover!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tales from a battle weary (and plump) boulder... er, soldier

I've been feeling a little blah lately because of the ongoing and downward spiraling battle of the bulge, so in order to rev things up a bit on the fitness front I thought I'd try something different with my fitness routine* pause for hysterical laughter*. Gymming has been rather boring of late and there's only so much I can take of Karthik (with an aych, mind you) the insufferable gym instructor and his snide remarks. Now the intelligent reader's thoughts might drift to swimming at this juncture, given that 'tis the season to flaunt those well toned bikini bods *more hysterical laughter* but at this point I will take a moment to point out, gently but firmly, that when one resembles a human pudding in one's pre-pregnancy swimsuit, one does not allow one's mind to flit such like.

And so I began thinking about yoga as an alternative option. Now I've done yoga before several times even though, as with so many other things in my staggeringly inconsistent life, I've never managed to stick to it regularly. But the point, is I quite like the whole gentle stretching, rhythmic breathing, connecting with your self, feeling Zen jig and so I began scouting around for a yoga class in right earnestness. As luck would have it (and it often does) there was a yoga class right next door, in the building opposite mine to be precise and a kindly soul pointed out the yoga teacher to me at my evening j-roll. She was a benign looking lady, dressed in a pristine white salwar kameez with an unperturbed air about her even though her two year old toddler was stuffing mud in his mouth while the girl supposed to mind him was busy checking out the local male attractions. Clearly she had achieved an admirably calm state of mind where all the petty irritations of life ceased to matter. I approached her feeling a renewed sense of inspiration, convinced that yoga was the right choice for me given that I deal with S the cacophony queen & the blow hot-blow cold part time help on a daily basis and am often left with frazzled nerves at the end of  a harrowing week with the two. The yoga teacher, V, was quite happy to accommodate me in her morning batch and asked me to come for a trial class the next day on an empty stomach. I buzzed off feeling quite chuffed and spent the rest of the evening seeing visions of myself dressed all in white, in a cross legged meditative pose, meditating by a pristine beach with white sands and not a toned bikini bod in sight. With a flower tucked behind one ear, perhaps.

The next morning I was up at the crack of dawn, and donning my loosest, most flowing clothes, I shimmied across the  park to the opposite building. The crisp early morning air invigorated my senses and the morning lark was doing a dashed good job singing its merry tune, leaving me feeling rather benign myself as I reached V's house where the class was to be held. "Good morning!" I chirped with a gentle smile as V opened the door only to freeze mid-way with the g smile plastered to my face as I caught sight of V. Who was this woman who stood before me dressed in a bright red leotard, with leopard print tights?! Sure she resembled the V from the park yesterday, but, er, weren't those spikes in her hair? "Hi" the new V said crisply, ushering me in. "You're seven minutes late. Please come on time from tomorrow." I tottered in still desperately clutching on to the image of the pristine white, calm lady from the day before who would gently guide me through some invigorating stretches and  rhythmic breathing with a dash of meditation thrown in at the end. And then I caught sight of the rest of the class. They were all dressed like V, with leotards and tights and slightly spiked hair. All they needed was a 'V for Vendetta' emblazoned across their foreheads and the picture would be complete. "Go, Go Go Class!" yelled V deftly tossing a yoga mat at me as I scrambled for a place, the visions of gentle stretching shattering in my mind's eye. "Jog!" screamed V and the assembly of Spiked Skin Tights began huffing and puffing on their respective yoga mats. "On your backs, air cycling!" commandeered V without missing a beat as the SST's flopped down and legs began slicing the air vigorously. "Turn around, the air twist!"....and on and on it went. At one point V & the SST's began pirouetting through the air swinging their arms in unison at which point my choice of attire became a serious constraint, flapping against the floor with a disconcerting 'thwack thwack' as I self consciously tried to focus on the pirouettes. "Right!" yelled V after about a half hour more of kicks and swings, "Quiet Time!". Everyone perched on their mats, legs crossed, hands on knees with the thumb and forefinger in perfect O's and assumed an air of calm. "Finally!" I breathed in relief, squishing down on my mat, only to be given away by my treacherous stomach which chose this moment to make its presence felt through some persistent, feed-me-NOW, growls. Thankfully, V switched on some music which drowned the sound out and the SST's began swaying in some kind of group chant. I tried swaying with them before giving up and focusing instead on quietening the grumbling tummy with some deep breathing.

"How did you like class?" V asked with a return of the gentle smile from the park as I prepared to leave at the end of the class.
"It was, er, very unlike any yoga class I have attended in the past. Is this some different from of yoga?" I asked tentatively.
"Oh yes, this is Vow Yoga, a mix of Power Yoga and my own brand of yoga, so V for Vow." she smiled back. "We are putting up a show next week, that's why we all dress like this, it helps keep the group inspired."
"Er a yoga show?" I asked.
"No, a Vow show, more like aerobics you know. Anyway you can wear what you feel comfortable in." she patted me on the arm gently and ushered me out as a new batch of SST's began trooping in for the next class.

I flopped across the park feeling decidedly ungainly in my loose attire and greeted P who was partaking of the morning tea and toast with a gloomy hi.
"So how was the yoga class honey?" he asked cheerily "Are you feeling all Zen and meditative?"
"Er, it was more like aerobics actually" I sighed "With some mediation thrown in at the end."
"Well that's great, you get to try something new!" said P the indefatigable optimist.
"Yeah but I'd signed up for yoga you know, not Vow whatever! I miss all the gentle stretching, and rhythmic breathing and meditating with a flower tucked behind one ear."
"Well maybe you can look for a more traditional class then sweetie. And you can always meditate at home you know? With the flower tucked behind one ear too" said P breezily as he sped away to work.

I spent the rest of the day ruminating over the corruption of the traditional form of yoga that I know and love, with all these new fangled concepts before deciding that there was really no harm in giving Vow Yoga a shot. I mean there was no other yoga class nearby that I knew of with convenient timings and the only other option I had was the gym with the snide remark passing Karthik (with an aych) or the horrifying image of a blob of jelly, vaguely resembling me, by the pool.

"I'm going to do Vow Yoga, I've decided" I informed P that evening as he tickled Nikki's tummy. "I'll show 'em all I can pirouette like no other!"
"Ok honey" said P mildly "Do you need a leotard then?" ( He doesn't know the REAL reason I'm avoiding the pool you see.)
"Er no, think I'll stick to tracks" I said and retired to bed to dream of myself pirouetting to some strange chants in mid -air as the rest of the SST's applauded. 

I was woken up mid- dream to my screeching mobile to find P sitting up as well, clutching his ear. My mobile had slipped under his pillow at night and the ringer had apparently gone off right in his ear. "Its an SMS from your yoga teacher" he said grumpily rubbing his ear "she's leaving for Delhi, some family emergency, so the class is off for a few days."
"Its a sign from God!" I said feeling strangely relieved as I tucked myself in bed again "I guess this new fangled yoga is not for me!"
"Whatever" said P still miffed "And could you please change your SMS alert tone, to something other than this fire engine alarm you have now?"

It's been a fortnight since V mysteriously vanished overnight and the Vow class got called off. None of the other SST's   seem to know of her whereabouts. Quite a few of them are understandably miffed about it since they'd paid for the entire month and bedsides they never got to perform at the Vow show. As for me, I'm looking for another yoga class, a traditional one this time with no frills attached. I'm also thinking in the meantime of hitting the gym again and being regular this time round.
And so it was that this morning saw me headed toward the gym, gym bag slung across my shoulder. And that disdainful sniff that was heard as I passed by the pool replete with b toned bods which unfortunately must be passed on the way to the gym was just my dreadful, dreadful cold. Or something.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Weaning The Mommy Woman

Nikki has finally decided that Enough is Enough and has pulled the plug on our once a day nursing sessions. Any attempts at feeding are firmly rebuffed with much shoving, pushing and screaming blue murder and if all else fails a few sharp nips are deftly administered to end this preposterous attempt at curtailing her budding independence.
I suppose I should be happy. No more scheduling my life around three or four hourly feeds. Well actually in the last three months it was just the one feed, so no more scheduling my life around the all important morning feed. No more carefully monitored morning alarms or missed gym sessions or jogs so that the child and heiress will not go hungry. No more long drawn out nursing sessions at the fag end of the day when I'm dog tired and desperate to have a hot shower or curl up with a book or just crash. No more hideous nursing tops that have the mind boggling ability to make one look like the bag lady in drag on a bad day. No more sitting in a darkened room at a party sniffing wistfully at the occasional whiffs of something delectable and listening to people make merry as I wait for the afore-mentioned child and heiress to finished her own long drawn out supper. No more feeling stressed out when I travel or even when I'm just out and about that my services may be called upon at a particularly awkward moment. No more severe panic attacks when I'm out alone about being wanted, NOW back home because the c & h refuses to eat or for that matter drink anything and  only I can offer succor. No more frantic pounding on the bathroom door with accompanying cries to come out RIGHT NOW as the c & h obligingly wails in the background. No more thinking twice before downing that glass of wine, or that plate of sushi or even those nasty antibiotics which will give instant relief.

Yes, I suppose I should be happy.

Then why is it that all I feel instead is an empty, hollow ache? Why can I think of nothing else but the days of exclusive breastfeeding? Or the early days of Nikki's birth, when it would just be me and her, connected in the most special way possible as our lives pretty much revolved around each other. Those silvery early mornings and mellow late afternoons as I gazed adoringly at my precious little Nikki as she suckled blissfully, oblivious to the cares of the world, content to just be with me. When I could watch her for hours at end holding snugly onto the thought that she was still just a little baby, that she still needed me. When my baby would seek me out in a room full of people and reach out for me and be comforted by the mere sight of me. When just my presence or my touch was enough to soothe. When no one but me could placate her.
I guess she still does some of those things, but I am no longer indispensable. Anyone can dish out the khichdi or the porridge or the dish of choice and feed her now. Sigh. Why didn't anyone tell me this mommyhood thing was going to be so difficult?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Look who's back!

'Allo 'Allo it's me again! I would've come by earlier but The Mommy Woman was on a long break herself so I thought I'd give her a chance to make an appearance before stealing her thunder. It is her blog after all even though everyone knows the real reason anyone reads it is to find out what I've been up to! Besides I heard The Mommy Woman tell The Papa Man that my last appearance was a big success and so I've decided that I should drop by now and then, even though I'm ever so busy these days with all my myriad activities. This growing up business takes up a lot of time all right! Plus now that I'm a big girl I try to do my bit by lending a helping hand around the house. Like first thing in the morning I go up to the center table in the living room and fling the days newspapers on the floor. Then I spread them out all over the floor so that The Papa Man will find it easy to read them on the go, after all he is always in such a hurry in the mornings. That silly Mommy Woman tries to pick them up again sometimes though, before he's had a chance to read them, so these days I make it a point to generously endow my diaper with loads of the gooey stuff before she gets a chance to lay her hands on the newspapers. That keeps her busy for some time, heh heh! I also try and help the cleaning lady who comes to our house every day to do the dusting. I fling all the stuff I can reach off all the available surfaces so that she can do her job properly. I really don't know why The Mommy Woman has such a problem with that, the silly hussy. I mean everyone knows that the cleaning lady has to remove all the stuff anyway if she is to do the dusting properly!

Oooh there goes the phone, must rush! I make it a point to answer the phone each time it rings to save The Mommy Woman some time. The phone is placed rather conveniently, I just need to stand on tiptoes and it slips easily into my hands. I even attempt to make some conversation with whoever is on the line, but most of the time they speak some gibberish I can't fathom so I let The Mommy Woman take over. I try to help her while she's talking by pushing the buttons on the phone, after all that's what she does too, but the silly woman just doesn't know how to appreciate a helping hand. Hmph. Anyway not like I care, I find those other kind of phones more interesting anyway- the tiny ones that trill and have the bright lights and fun music. The Mommy Woman is very possessive about hers though, just yesterday she had a minor coronary because I was trying to give her tiny phone a bath. It had gotten a bit dirty because I took it for a walk in the balcony so I thought I'd make it all shiny and clean and good as new for The Mommy Woman with a quick bath, but does she appreciate my efforts? No Sir! Instead she has a near meltdown and runs around shrieking like a headless chicken, the silly drama queen. Anyway, I soon showed her who's the real drama queen in these parts and now she's promised to get me my very own tiny phone. About time too, I say.

Anyway, on to more interesting topics. I did mention last time that I love music didn't I? Well I've considerably expanded my repertoire of dance steps since then, and it takes little to get me started on my favorite moves. I love that Uff Teri Ada song The Mommy Woman listens to these days, hands in the air, a lil head banging, shake that booty baybeh! The other fun thing I discovered just two days ago was that playing in the water can actually be fun! To tell you the truth I was getting a bit bored of listening to The Mommy Woman go on and on about how I was scared of water. Scared, pish tosh! Sitting in a tub full of water and swatting at some rubber ducks may be her idea of fun, but please spare me! I mean why would you want to get your neck wet and your hair all messed up?! But this Sunday, The Papa Man filled up the large inflatable pool with water and a few of my favorite toys and got in there himself. He looked like he was having a ball so I thought I'd try dipping my toes in too, and it wasn't that bad you know. Ten minutes later I was in the middle of all the action splashing The Papa Man with water and having a total blast! Ooh what fun! Of course The Mommy Woman was being her usual pestilential self buzzing all over the place like a honeybee who's overdosed on coffee and taking snaps like it was going out of fashion. Really, these grown ups can be so embarrassing sometimes! Take our evenings in the park for instance. My pal A and I like to greet each other with squeals and hugs, before having some heart to heart babbles and screeches, given that we meet only  once a day. I mean I am entitled to some privacy for quality time with my friends right? Try telling that to The Mommy Woman! She and A's mom are perpetually in splits while A & I are trying to make some conversation, cooing and gushing over us all the time. If I had my way, I would put The Mommy Woman in my cot for a time out while I get some quiet time to myself. If only I had the strength to get her in there. Hmmm, there's a thought! Maybe I should drink that sloppy white stuff The Mommy Woman tries to make me drink all the time, after all she did say it would make me strong. Getting back to our evenings in the park, they really are my favorite time of the day. I love going out and especially if its a trip to the park or a garden. The Papa Man is going to take me to the Zoo and the Circus next week! I love animals, specially bow wows and I heard The Papa Man say there's a bow wow show in the circus so I'm super excited! I even like the bow wows in the park and I wish I could spend more time with them everyday, but The Mommy Woman always throws a spanner in the works! I mean is there any harm if she runs around the park with me in the pram chasing the bow wows for a few hours every day, I ask you? But no, all she does is is point out a few bow wows from a distance and leaves it at that.Bah!

Here she comes now to check my diaper AGAIN. Talk about obsessive compulsive behavior, the woman is at it all. day. long. Maybe I should just learn how to use that pink potty contraption she tries to make me sit on some times and get it over with. Then I can lock myself in the loo like The Papa Man with my copy of Sleep Tight Bunny and get some peace and quiet. Meanwhile, I guess I just have to live with The Mommy Woman poking around. Being the ever so helpful sorts I try and help her while she cleans me up, I mean it is MY bum, is there a problem if I put my hand in there and squish around a bit? Really, these grown ups have a problem with EVERYTHING. One of these days I'm going to have to give her a piece of my mind. I mean I try to be patient with her but there really is a limit to how much you can take! Take bedtimes for example; for the last couple of months I'd been sleeping at 8.30pm on the dot and letting The Mommy Woman and The Papa Man take some time off. But now, the minute I decide I want to join the party, and its all "Oh God she just doesn't sleep on time!" I mean what's a girl got to do for fun in these parts? Drop The Mommy Woman a line if you get time, won't you, and ask her to take a chill pill!

Hark! There's the phone, must rush before The Mommy Woman beats me to it! I'll drop by again later if I manage to get her to play quietly by herself while I attend to my stuff. Laters, then!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Just catching up!

It's been a long break; it feels good to be back!
Although I must admit, I have been rather slack

After grumbling away at the lack of a single tag
I find I have THREE unfinished in my bag!

This one's for MRC, my partner in crime
Who inspires me to spout pomes, time after time!

Dear MRC, d'you remember sometime ago?
We started some silly rhymes and then really got into the flow!

I dedicate to you this particular little ditty,
I would've written more, but more's the pity

The husband's read my rhymes, they packed 'im quite a wallop
'Egad! Please stick to prose!' begged he, and so I've gotta stop

So thank you dear friend, your tags I love to do
I will proceed now to complete tag number two :)

Alright you can heave that sigh of relief now, I'm not turning to poetry as a form of creative expression. This was just an unfinished, long overdue tag from MRC who had also tagged me to do the seven random things about me tag. So here goes.

First the rules:
1. You have to tag seven people
2. You have to link their pages in your tag post
3. You have to leave a comment in their comments section telling them they've been tagged
4. You have to say who tagged you

1. I have this thing with books. I love reading and when I start a book I simply have to finish it, no matter how boring it may be or how much I dislike it. I will crib and rant to anyone who cares to listen and drive myself into a headache inducing frenzy, but finish the book I will. I'm stuck with one such now :(

2. I lurrrve Shahrukh Khan. I fell in love with him after watching Darr and Baazigar and Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na back to back- a special post-board exams treat many years ago and the love affair has endured. Everyone else in my family hates him with a vengeance; when I left home to do my MBA my mom tore down several (life size) SRK posters that occupied pride of place in my bedroom and called the neighbors over for a celebratory cup of chai. Many of my close friends (who share similar sentiments as my family) refuse to believe this SRK loving side to me, the only reason many of them are still friends with me is because I also love Johnny Depp.

3. I also have this thing with music. No, I don't have to listen to a song even if I detest it, thank the Lord, but if I do like a particular song I listen to it ALL THE TIME. Over and over again. Anytime, anywhere, wherever I go and I also keep it humming it and playing it in my head over and you get the drift. I love rock music. I also like Bollywood music, especially the dhinchak dhinchak kind- my current favorite is 'Uff teri adaa' from KCK. If you're in a pub or a bar and the sound of this particular song causes an otherwise strong looking chappie to turn pale and groan silently, there's a good chance that the chappie in question might be P. I've been subjecting him to it endlessly whenever he's around.

4. For the longest time, I wasn't sure if I wanted to have kids. I wasn't sure if I was ready. And now I can't imagine life without Nikki. An hour or two away from home and I get this unbearable urge to rush back home and blow raspberries on her tummy. I wasn't even sure if I would be a good mom but I think I'm doing okay. Still don't know too many nursery rhymes though.

5. When I eat oranges, I eat everything except the outer rind. The soft inner, wispy white skin, the seeds, the threads, I eat 'em all. Even the childhood threat that an orange tree would grow out of my belly button if I continued eating oranges in this fashion didn't deter me. Oh, and I love oranges and can wolf down half a dozen at one go!

6. I've been in search of the elusive, perfect haircut all my life, at least since I was old enough to go get my own haircut. I go to every new hairdresser with hope in my eyes and visions of a Jennifer Anistonish haircut  swimming in my mind, but true to its nature, the elusive perfect haircut has continued to me elude me thus far. Still there is always hope and I will be off to get a new haircut this Saturday.

7. I'm a chocoholic. Dangerous things have been known to happen when I've been left alone in the house with anything that is chocolate and edible. If there were a Chocoholics Anonymous local chapter in my neighborhood I'd have been the founding member. Or the chairperson. Things have gotten so bad now, what with the post pregnancy weight loss struggle (Yes it's still on, and if you've lost all your excess pounds don't tell me about it okay?) that I beg P not to get any chocolates for me whenever he travels abroad, give him a hard time for doing precisely that when he gets back and then forage around for chocolate from hapless people whom he does get chocolates for. It's really quite sad :( Last night, overcome with unbearable cocoa cravings while watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I ordered a Domino's pizza just so I could order some Chocolate Lava Cake along with it. I ordered two cakes; one for me and one for P, which was really rather generous of me, given that he doesn't even get any chocolates for me when he travels abroad. Except that when the pizza arrived he was already asleep and so I ended up eating both. Sigh, all this talk of chocolate is making me rather hungry. Maybe I'll just go make myself a cup of hot chocolate....

Okay so I know I'm horribly late and everyone who wanted to has probably already done this tag, but in case you haven't and if you feel like it, give it a shot won't you- Momo's Ma, Aneela, comfortablynam, Priyanka, Mindful Meanderer, Veena and Divs.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Over and mun-done with!

It's over! I was hoping that I could write all about how my fears had been unfounded, how I needn't have worried and how it all passed off without a hitch, with zero or minimal tears being shed. But alas, it was not to be. The mundan was the MOST horribly dreadful experience with Nikki crying so hard and so piteously that the mother in law finally couldn't bear it any more and went off and locked herself in her room. To begin with everything went wrong- the barber type razor we had procured specially for the event turned out to be faulty. The chappie who had come home to do the mundan fiddled with it for close to an hour before throwing his hands up, so P went off to get another one which was immediately washed and sterilized. My OCD which normally goes into overdrive at times like these ensured that I took my time over the washing and sterilizing, so by the time we finally got started it was well past Nikki's bedtime and she was tired and sleepy. I was hoping that the fact that we were doing the mundan at home would make her more comfortable but the sight of the razor wielding barber was just too much for her, what with her current phase of stranger anxiety being at an all time high. She howled and howled and howled all the way through, while P held her and I  unsuccessfully tried to entertain her with cartoons, music, books, toys and all manner of funny and not so funny faces. She did get a few minor nicks which gave me the unbearable urge to break the razor wielding chappie's neck in three places but she didn't really get hurt, the crying was more due to worry and sleep driven exhaustion. And the razor chappie was really quite patient on hindsight, considering that I had grilled him like a drill sergeant before the mundan and was literally breathing down his neck with not-so-helpful comments along the lines of "Naheee! Sambhaal ke kijiye!" "Dheere dheere!" and "Usko lag gayi to mujhse bura koi nahee hogaa". Yes I really did say that.
I knew I shouldn't have watched that infernal saas-bahu soap with the MIL earlier that day, they always have a melodramatic rub off on my less than stellar Hindi speaking skills.

Finally it was over and we quickly bathed Nikki, dressed her scalp with a touch of Dettol and some BoroPlus as recommended by the MIL and rocked her to sleep, before breathing a sigh of relief that the ordeal was finally over. That night as I passed Nikki's cot on my way to bed I felt a sudden pang as I caught sight of her; she didn't really look too different, just very vulnerable and tiny and lost with her hair all gone. But the next morning, once our sprightly little imp was awake and back in mischief filled action, we found that the new look suits her, she looks rather like a cute baby Zoozoo :) And now I can look forward to her hair growing back and using that collection of baby hairclips and braid bands and cute all-girl hairstyles and....oooh someone stop me before I metamorphose into that coconut oil bottle wielding amma from the Garnier ad running after her daughter for the daily champi!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Its been a long break...

...and it feels good to be back! A personal mini-crisis, coupled with multiple disasters on the domestic front of the boy, oh boy, oh bai! kind (strange how this stuff ALWAYS hits you all at the same time), added up to the long absence from the blogging scene thus far but I'm back and I've promised myself that next time round, crisis or no crisis there aren't going to be any more long breaks.

So anyway its been a crazy, crazy couple of weeks and a LOT has happened in the last one month that I was away from the blogosphere. My last post was just before the trip to the in-laws and I was bubbling over with a strange combination of dread and anticipation over the impending mundan and ear piercing, given that there was no running away from either. Well all the bubbling over was rather pointless as it turned out, because we ended up doing neither! The trip to the in-laws came and went sans mundan, with the in laws averring that the numerous merits of a bald and shiny pate notwithstanding, it wouldn't look good on a girl on the eve of her first birthday. And so it was put off till the birthday party had come and gone. The ear piercing met with a similar fate. Now this whole ear piercing thing is custom in my part of the family but not so much in P's. The mother in law looked suitably aghast when I mentioned that we were considering getting Nikki's ears pierced, reacting rather like I'd just mentioned the French guillotine and proclaimed that her own ears had been pierced on the eve of her wedding! And so, given that the in-laws were to return with us to celebrate Nikki's first birthday, and stay on for a couple of weeks, the ear piercing too was postponed till after they had left. On the basis of that happy principle that what they don't know won't hurt 'em and we could always get it done later and present them a few months down the line with a pair of happily pierced ears. Yes we are very adept at dealing with situations like these, P & I. And so a month down the line I find myself once again faced with the prospect of an impending mundan and ear piercing yet to happen. Sigh.

The trip to the in-laws went off fairly well, albeit hectic and a bit tiring, given that Nikki was down with a touch of fever. The mundan ceremony turned out to be pretty good fun, since tonsuring of the scalp had been wiped off the agenda. Just a lock of Nikki's hair was snipped off, which she didn't even notice being busy trying to shove some grapes down my throat at that moment, and that was that! Afterward we feasted on halwa and aloo-puri, bought some toys- a drum playing monkey, a large yellow inflatable ball which Nikks instantly fell in love with and some wooden blocks and went back home happy and well-fed.On our way to the in-laws home I had got the chance to catch up with an old and dear and verry pregnant friend in Delhi and on the evening of Nikki's mundan we got news that she had delivered a bonny baby boy. What's more he had been born at pretty much the exact same time that Nikki's solitary lock was being chopped off, making my friend and I believe this is surely a sign from the Lord ordaining a long and beautiful friendship between our offspring!

We got back home a few days later, just two days before Nikki's birthday. Her birthday was on a Tuesday and we had planned the party for the weekend following it so that friends and relatives from out of town could be there too. A couple of them chose to come down earlier, on Tuesday, staying on for the party over the weekend, making it more of a celebration week rather than just one day! We celebrated at home on Tuesday with friends and family. I baked a special cake just for Nikki, made with the stuff that she eats on a regular basis: atta, ghee, bananas and powdered dry fruits and my mom got one of the more sinful cakes for the rest of the crowd from a local bakery. I'd wanted to make the day special for Nikki and so taking a break from her usual porridge- khichdi we had special food for her that day: eggy bread for breakfast, pasta with cheese sauce for lunch and rice kheer for the evening snack. She loved all of it except the cake, which she refused to even take a nibble of, preferring instead to squish it around on her high chair tray but the rest of the group loved it so it was worth the effort! The day went by in a bit of a whirl what with all the people around but I took some quiet time out with just me and Nikki at 4.08 pm, the exact same time she had been born a year ago. We went for a quiet stroll in the park and sat in the grass for a bit, Nikki frolicking around, me just trying to soak in the overwhelming feeling that enveloped me as I relived all the experiences I've been through over the last one year. One year of being a mommy, the most beautiful one year of my life :)
Later that evening after P was back, we had a small pooja and celebration at home and after Nikki had gone to bed we spent the rest of the evening poring over all the pictures and videos taken over the last one year.

The birthday party (Hallelujah, its FINALLY over!) a few days later was a big hit too. It started on a less than pleasant note with Nikki having a major meltdown as soon as we reached the venue. The house had been buzzing with guests for a few days and the morning of the party had been particularly hectic as a result of which Nikki's nap schedule had gone awry, making her terribly cranky at the start of the party. Thankfully she calmed down before the cake cutting ceremony, making for some splendid photo ops and even obliged the cheering crowd by smearing the cake generously into P's hair and shirt. From then on she got progressively cheerier and by the time the last of the guests had left she was positively having a blast. A few snide remarks were passed about how she seemed to have inherited my anti-social gene, given that she was horribly cranky at the start of the party and then got progressively happier as people started leaving, but I overlooked them all. After all, the last one year has been all about The Maturity That Comes With Motherhood, and I am nothing if not changed by the experiences the year brought with it!
Anyway, getting back to the party, it really was a smashing success even if I do say so myself! We had changed the venue rather last minute to a new place we chanced upon quite by luck and it turned out to be a superb venue for a birthday party. The ambience, the food, the music, everything rocked and there was even an exclusive children's play area for the little guests. The service was super fast, with all the waiters making it a point to whisk my plate or glass away if I so much as put it down for an instant, so what if I was still midway through my meal, but I managed to stuff myself to the gills with the good stuff nonetheless.

And oh, I almost forgot, we had our verrry own caricaturist! We did too! After all that mindless dithering over magicians and tattoo artists, we finally discovered a caricaturist who could entertain all- young and old, and so we hired him for the party where he proceeded to do just that. He soon had a crowd gathered all around him with people waiting patiently in line for their turn and soon almost everyone had gotten their portrait made. I got mine done at the fag end too and was rather upset by the sketch; he'd made me look like an angry, old she-bull who's just discovered that she's been gypped by the matador in the bull fight but what made it much, much worse was that everyone promptly began oohing and aahing and saying that it looked just like me! Thankfully the party ended soon after giving me time to rip the travesty of a sketch into itty bitty shreds and we drove back home to the much awaited gift opening ceremony.Much awaited by me that is. Yes I shamelessly admit it, I was looking forward to the gifts more than anyone else! Definitely more than the budday gal who was quite happy playing with the scraps of gift wrapping paper instead. We spent a happy evening, Nikks and I, me lovingly unwrapping each gift and Nikki playing with the assorted boxes and gift wrapping paper they'd come in. There were some pretty neat gifts but my pick of the lot was a red Minnie Mouse swimsuit and pink sunglasses that a friend had gifted Nikki. She took to the sunglasses almost immediately, putting them on and taking them off with a one-handed flourish, like quite the seasoned diva and had all of us cracking up for the better part of the evening. One of the other gifts was an inflatable swimming pool, so we're all set for some summer fun now that all the gear is in place. That is, if I can get the child to overcome her fear of water anytime soon.

Life is kind of back to normal now with the grand first birthday with its ensuing chaos and excitement having faded away into the backdrop, leaving us instead with some bitter sweet memories. For the next few birthdays though, I'm thinking a quiet holiday someplace nice will do just fine. That is of course until Nikki grows old enough to start demanding Hannah Montana themed parties replete with birthday planners, personalized invites, farmhouse venues, party favors that cost a bomb and a fleet of entertainers. Gulp. Maybe I should start planning for them already!